Faith is a principle by which man is saved is a fact beyond dispute (Acts 15:7-9; ff 26:15-18; Gal. 3:26; Jn. 3:16; Rom. 3:30; 5:1). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). But many in the religious world teach that a person is saved by “faith only.” In order to show this to be false all we need to do is turn to James 2:14-26. However, has the Lord’s church chosen to practice “Faith Only” in many things pertaining to how we worship God?
Too often one’s faith in the Lord’s Supper is faith only: The Bible teaches we are to observe the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week (1 Cor. 11:26). “As often” here is explained in Acts 20:7. Since every week has a first day we conclude that we are to observe the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s day. My question then is, “Do you believe it?” Oh “Yes,” you say. But do you practice it?
What about our faith in attending the assembly of the Church? Even a casual reading of Hebrews 10:25 and following verses convinces one of the necessity of regular attendance and the grave danger of neglecting such assemblies. Deep down, most believe this to be so, but is your faith void of action or works?
What about prayer? Do you have faith in prayer and in Him who hears our prayers? Do you pray regularly or “every now and then?” Do you pray in times of trouble and distress only? Do you blame God when you think your prayer is not answered? I fear many of our prayers are with FAITH ONLY-ALL FAITH AND NO ACTION.
What about the Gospel as God’s power to save (Rom. 1:16)? Surely we believe that it is. Did not the Lord tell us to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature?” Is our faith along this line faith only? How many really do get out and try to teach the Gospel to others? The word is God’s power to save, only to those who “believe” it, and this involves teaching (Matt. 28:19-20).
What about loving brethren and doing benevolent work? The Bible teaches us to love our brethren. Do you do it? Do you treat them like Jesus taught us to treat fellow brethren? You do know we are to lay down our lives for our brethren, don’t you? We are to love one another as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us (Eph 5:25). Most don’t even love their brethren as themselves, much less as Christ also loved us (Jn 13:34). Is your love genuine or is it by “Faith Only”? We attack our liberal brethren because of their looseness in handling the Word of God. “They are not walking by faith,” we say. But what about us? Are we? That passage says “we walk by faith. . .” This implies action-“WE WALK”. This cannot be done by faith only. People are not loved, fed, clothed, housed, or comforted by FAITH ONLY.
It is still true that “faith without works is dead”. Remember, “. . . be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58). Jesus said, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it:” (Lk 11:28). And again he said, “My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it” (Lk 8:21). He that knows to do good and does it not, to him it is what? That’s right my brethren, a sin (Jam 4:17)! We have no excuse because we have been taught right from wrong. If we know to do good and do it not, then we are no better than denominations which teach “faith only”. How can we chasten them for teaching what we practicing?